The UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has said the government has no plans to introduce a minimum wage in the country.
In a statement, the ministry said that wages “including for domestic workers” would continue to be fixed through negotiations between employers and employees.
“The UAE’s wage policies enable a flexible labour market that creates thousands of new jobs annually,” the ministry said.
The comments appeared to be a response to demands from some governments of source countries to fix a minimum wage for their workers.
These include the Philippines, which expects its domestic staff to be paid at least $400 a month.
Other regional countries including Kuwait have also introduced a minimum wage for domestic workers in recent years.
“The government remain of the view that a free labour market, based on supply and demand, creates the optimal conditions under which we are able to continue to welcome thousands of guest workers to the UAE every year, while simultaneously fostering sustainable economic growth,” the ministry said.
It went on to deny links to any statements about fixing a minimum wage.
Regional labour conditions have come under particular scrutiny in recent months after the Philippines announced a total ban on deploying workers to Kuwait.
This followed several instances of abuse including the murder of a maid whose body was found in an apartment freezer.
The Philippine government is now seeking greater rights and protections for its workers in Kuwait and the wider Gulf region.
The UAE said it had recently taken steps to safeguard domestic workers including a federal law enacted last September to guarantee the payment of salaries on time, minimum hours of rest and one day off a week.